Kansas, ACLU reach temporary agreement on voter ID

Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State

(Recasts to show that judge has canceled contempt of court hearing scheduled for Friday, adds comment by Kansas secretary of state)

Sept 29 (Reuters) – The Kansas Secretary of State and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have reached a temporary agreement over the state’s voter registration laws, keeping Kansas’ chief elections officer from a contempt of court hearing, according to court documents filed on Thursday.

The deal between Secretary of State Kris Kobach and the ACLU comes six weeks before the U.S. presidential election.

The two sides have been at odds over a Kansas law requiring people to prove American citizenship if they want to register to vote while applying for a driver’s license. Critics say this requirement disenfranchises voters, especially minorities.

The deal will allow people who registered at motor vehicle offices or with a federal form without providing citizenship documents to vote in the Nov. 8 election with a standard ballot, rather than be forced to use a provisional one, the ACLU and Kobach said in a status report filed on Thursday.

Kobach will also clarify his office’s website to help voters find information more easily, according to the report filed to U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson.

Robinson had ordered Kobach, a Republican, to explain by Thursday why he should not be held in contempt for failing to obey a federal order issued in May.

That order required him to register people who applied to vote at motor vehicle offices or with a federal form without proof of citizenship.

Robinson canceled the contempt hearing scheduled for Friday, according to her own court filing, citing the ACLU and Kobach’s agreement.

“Our case is ongoing, but this interim agreement is a critical victory for Kansans who want to vote in the November election. It is a shame that voters had to fight so hard to get Kris Kobach to do his job,” ACLU attorney Orion Danjuma said in a statement.

Kobach said he was pleased an agreement had been reached, but criticized the ACLU.

“The ACLU’s argument was weak at best. However, at this point the preparations for the November 8, 2016, general election must proceed with rules established to ensure the efficient administration of the election,” he said in a statement.

Kansas’ law, among the strictest voter identification statutes in the country, is defended by Republicans who say the rules are meant to prevent voter fraud.

On Tuesday, a Kansas state judge issued a separate ruling extending voting rights through the Nov. 8 election of about 17,500 people who registered to vote at motor vehicle offices.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Matthew

Missouri lawmakers override gun, voter ID vetoes

Handguns for sale

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) – Missouri lawmakers pushed through bills on Wednesday eliminating the need for permits to carry concealed weapons and requiring voters to show a photo identification before casting a ballot, overriding Democratic Governor Jay Nixon’s vetoes of the bills.

Both votes by the Republican-controlled state House and Senate reached the two-thirds majority required to enact legislation over the governor’s veto.

The weapons bill abolished a state law requiring a permit, training and background checks for people who want to carry a concealed weapon in the state.

The House voted 112-41 to override Nixon’s veto and the Senate voted 24-6.

Supporters of the bill said it will make the state safer by allowing more residents to carry firearms in self-defense, while still banning certain criminals and mentally incompetent people from having a gun.

In vetoing the bill in July, Nixon said the measure struck an extreme blow to sensible safeguards against gun violence.

Earlier on Wednesday, the state Senate voted 24-7 and the House 115-41 to override Nixon’s veto of a bill requiring voters to produce a government-issued ID instead of less official identification such as a utility bill or bank check.

The bill would not take effect until 2017, after this year’s presidential election, and only if voters in November pass a state constitutional amendment in support of the new law. That is necessary because the Missouri Supreme Court ruled 10 years ago that such a statute violated the existing state constitution.

Courts in recent months have blocked voter ID laws passed in several states by Republican-led legislatures after civil rights groups argued the measures were discriminatory against poor and minority voters.

In Missouri, voters without a photo ID can still vote if they sign an affidavit swearing that they lack any type of identification. However, election officials can take their picture, and steps must be taken to get a photo ID for later use, with the state covering the cost.

Supporters of the bill said it will help prevent voter fraud.

“Why not have more certainty in the election process?” Republican Representative Justin Alferman, the bill’s main sponsor, said in a statement before the vote.

Opponents had argued that the ID requirement places an undue burden on young, minority and low-income voters who tend to support Democratic candidates.

“Putting additional and unwanted barriers between citizens and their ability to vote is wrong and detrimental to our system of government as a whole,” Nixon said in explaining his veto.

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Simon Cameron-Moore)

Missouri governor vetoes bill to abolish concealed weapon permits

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon

By Kevin Murphy

(Reuters) – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a bill on Monday that would eliminate the need for a permit, training and background checks for persons who want to carry a concealed weapon in the state.

The Republican-led bill passed the Missouri House and Senate this spring with enough votes to override the veto when lawmakers convene in September. Two-thirds majority is required.

In a news release accompanying his veto message, Nixon, a Democrat, said he has supported prior legislation to expand concealed carry laws during his seven years in office.

“But I cannot support the extreme step of throwing out that process entirely, eliminating sensible protections like background checks and training requirements, and taking away the ability of sheriffs to protect their communities,” Nixon said.

Debate over gun control in the United States has increased after a gunman pledging allegiance to the Islamic State militant group killed 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub on June 12 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Nixon, who cannot seek re-election this year due to term limits, said the law would allow people with criminal records, such as misdemeanor assault and drug possession, to automatically carry a concealed weapon.

“Allowing currently prohibited individuals to automatically be able to carry concealed would make Missouri less safe,” Nixon said.

Lawmakers and other supporters of the bill have said the law is an important step forward in gun rights and will not make the state less safe.

“Every time we change the concealed carry law people say there will be blood in the streets,’ said Kevin Jamison, a lawyer who is president of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, which lobbied for the bill. “There is never blood in the streets.”

Jamison said nine other states already allow concealed carry without permits and associated training and background checks.

The new law would also expand the so-called “stand your ground” law to allow persons to use deadly force not only in their homes but in other places if they feel threatened. They would have no duty to retreat to safety under the bill.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Mo.; Editing by Alan Crosby)

Supreme Court rejects challenge to state assault weapon bans

Gun control activists

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place gun control laws in New York and Connecticut that ban military-style assault weapons like the one used in last week’s massacre at an Orlando nightclub, rejecting a legal challenge by gun rights advocates.

The court’s action underlined its reluctance to insert itself into the simmering national debate on gun control. The Supreme Court issued important rulings in gun cases in 2008 and 2010 but has not taken up a major firearms case since.

The justices declined to hear an appeal of an October ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld laws prohibiting semiautomatic weapons and large capacity magazines in the two northeastern states.

“Sensible gun safety legislation works. The Supreme Court’s action today in declining to hear this appeal affirms that the reforms enacted in Connecticut following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School were reasonable, sensible and lawful,” Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, a Democrat, said.

The New York and Connecticut laws, among the strictest in the nation, were enacted after a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle killed 20 young children and six educators in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The gunman in the June 12 attack at an Orlando gay nightclub that killed 49 people, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, used a semiautomatic rifle that would have been banned under the New York and Connecticut laws.

“The overwhelming majority of responsible gun owners want reasonable and effective gun control legislation,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “They know that there is no place for weapons of war on the streets of America. New York’s assault weapons ban keeps New Yorkers safer – period.”

Schneiderman, a Democrat, urged other states to enact similar laws.

The legal challenge mounted by gun rights groups and individual firearms owners asserted that the New York and Connecticut laws violated the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms. The court denied the appeal with no comment or recorded vote.

The challengers to the Connecticut law said it banned “some of the most popular firearms in America,” guns they said are owned by millions of Americans for the lawful purposes of self-defense, hunting and recreational shooting. The state said these kinds of guns are used in “the most heinous forms of gun violence.”

In December, the court declined to hear a challenge to a Illinois town’s assault weapons ban. But the justices in March threw out a Massachusetts court ruling that stun guns are not covered by the Second Amendment and sent the case back to the state’s top court for further proceedings.

The United States has among the most permissive gun rights in the world. Because the U.S. Congress long has been a graveyard for gun control legislation, some states and localities have enacted their own measures.

In total, seven states and the District of Columbia ban semiautomatic rifles. A national law barring assault weapons expired in 2004. Congressional Republicans and some Democrats, backed by the influential National Rifle Association gun rights lobby, foiled efforts to restore it.

In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, the Senate was taking up gun legislation on Monday, although the four measures were not expected to win passage.

There is a longstanding legal debate over the scope of Second Amendment rights.

In the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case, the Supreme Court held for the first time that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual’s right to bear arms, but the ruling applied only to firearms kept in the home for self-defense. That ruling did not involve a state law, applying only to federal regulations.

Two years later, in the case McDonald v. City of Chicago, the court held that the Heller ruling covered individual gun rights in states.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

Congress eyes $1 billion to aid at-risk families

Neonatal Therapeutic Unit at Cabell Huntington Hospital

By Duff Wilson and John Shiffman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Key members of the U.S. Congress said Friday they had reached a compromise to shift more than $1 billion to try to keep struggling families together, including those with babies born dependant on opioids.

The proposal is driven in part by an opioid crisis that threatens thousands of families. The bill would allow mental health, substance abuse and parenting assistance whenever a child is deemed at “imminent risk” of entering foster care. The measure also offers support for relatives who unexpectedly assume responsibility for a child when a parent cannot.

Under current law, such funds may only be spent after a child enters foster care. A spokesman for the Child Welfare League of America, John Sciamanna, called the proposed change “a landmark…, potentially historic.”

The legislation involves more than $1 billion over 10 years. Related opioid bills have not included funding.

“This bill would make a historic shift in child welfare funding by offering a way for moms and dads to get help and treatment rather than pitching in only after children are removed from home,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.

The bill is a compromise between four powerful members of Congress: Wyden; the Senate Finance committee’s Republican chair, Orrin Hatch of Utah; the Republican chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, Kevin Brady of Texas; and the ranking Democrat on Ways & Means, Sander Levin of Michigan.

The plan offers “bipartisan solutions for families and children affected by the opioid addiction crisis,” Hatch said in a statement.

In December, a Reuters investigation revealed that at least 110 babies had died since 2010 after being born opioid-dependent and sent home with parents ill-prepared to care for them. No more than nine of the 50 U.S. states followed a federal law requiring them to help those newborns, the news agency found.

In response to the Reuters series, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked all states to report by June 30 whether and how they are following the existing law, known as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. In May, the House passed legislation to improve safety planning for children born dependent on opioid drugs.

Reanne Pederson of Devils Lake, N.D., one of the women portrayed in the Reuters series who accidentally smothered her newborn in bed while on drugs, said she was happy to hear about new funding possibilities.

“It’s important to me that moms who are struggling with addiction get help,” she said.

(Editing by Ronnie Greene)

‘Prove you are American’, Kansas toughens election laws

Kansas Secretary of State Kobach looks on as he talks about the Kansas voter ID law in his Topeka, Kansas office

By John Whitesides

WICHITA, Kansas (Reuters) – After moving to Kansas, Tad Stricker visited a state motor vehicle office to perform what he thought was the routine task of getting a new driver’s license and registering to vote.

It was a familiar procedure for Stricker, 37, who has moved from state to state frequently in his work as a hotel manager. He filled out a voter registration form and got his driver’s license. He was not asked for more documents, he said.

So he was stunned when he tried to cast a ballot in November 2014 and was told he was not on the voter rolls. A month later, a letter from the state said why: His registration had been placed “in suspense” because he had failed to meet a state requirement he did not know about – proving he was an American.

Spurred by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a national leader in pushing for anti-immigration and voting changes, more than 36,000 Kansas residents have joined Stricker in limbo since early 2013 under a state law that raises a new and higher barrier to voting in the United States: proof of citizenship.

While you must be a U.S. citizen to vote in American elections, most states allow those wishing to register to simply sign a statement affirming they are citizens and provide a driver’s license number, Social Security number, or other proof of residency.

A Reuters analysis of the Kansas suspense list shows the law disproportionately hits young voters, who often do not have ready access to the needed documents, as well as unaffiliated and Democratic voters in the Republican-controlled state.

“What a shock,” said Stricker, who was born in Missouri and moved to Kansas with his wife from Illinois. “I was under the impression I had registered to vote, I had done everything I needed to. I just thought, ‘This can’t be happening.'”

While the law won’t affect its status as a safe Republican state in November’s presidential election, it thrusts Kansas into a national debate over voting restrictions that has accelerated since the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, a signature legislative achievement of the 1960s civil rights movement.

Kobach’s involvement has raised the stakes in the fight against the Kansas law. Democrats and voting rights advocates say his influence with conservatives could help spread the concept to other states. His critics scored a victory on May 17 when a federal judge weakened the law. Kobach quickly appealed.

Photo identification laws and other voting measures have proliferated in recent years in Republican-held states, but “the one that gets me most nervous” is the proof of citizenship requirement in Kansas, said Pratt Wiley, director of voter expansion for the Democratic National Committee.

“What you will see is that what is learned in one state, or doesn’t work in one state, there is a small adjustment and then it’s applied in a different state,” Wiley said, calling Kansas “patient zero” in that process.

Kobach has gained a national reputation for pushing a series of voting and anti-immigration measures across the country, leading one Democratic congressman to dub him “the dark lord” of the anti-immigration movement – a label he wears proudly.


“I don’t know if I would call it a badge of honor but it reflects that I’m moving the ball in what I think is the right direction,” Kobach said in an interview in his Topeka office across from the state Capitol.

Three other states have adopted proof of citizenship laws championed by Kobach, although officials said two of them had not implemented them. Bills have been introduced in at least nine other states to create a similar law since 2012, although none have advanced very far, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The law Kobach spearheaded in Kansas requires registrants to prove their citizenship by providing one of a series of documents, including birth certificates and passports. They are placed on the suspense list if they can’t.

Since late last year, those who did not complete the requirements for registration have been purged from the voter rolls after 90 days and had to begin the process over again.

About 14 percent of Kansans who tried to register between the law’s onset in 2013 and late 2015 failed to meet the requirement and went on the suspense list, according to documents filed in a lawsuit challenging the requirement.

“It’s created a system that is needlessly complex and very discouraging, particularly for young people,” said Steve Lopes, head of the Johnson County Voting Coalition, which helps register voters. “Now people just say, ‘Forget it, I’m not going to vote’.”

Kobach rejects accusations the law is designed to suppress voter turnout, particularly among minority and low-income voters who tend to back Democrats. He says it is aimed at stopping what he describes as a rampant problem of non-citizens voting in U.S. elections – even though there is little evidence of the problem.

“Every time an alien votes, it cancels out the vote of a U.S. citizen. That’s real disenfranchisement, it’s happening every election and it’s happening in every state,” Kobach said, estimating thousands of non-citizens are on voting rolls in big states with large immigrant populations.

Citing that threat, Kobach convinced the Kansas legislature in 2015 to give him the power to prosecute voter fraud. But he has won just four misdemeanor illegal voting convictions, mostly involving people who owned at least two properties and cast votes in both locations. None involved non-citizens voting, although Kobach said more complaints will be filed.

U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson, who issued a May 17 order that Kansas begin to register more than 18,000 voters kept off the rolls by the proof of citizenship law, noted Kansas could identify only three non-citizens who voted between 2003 and the onset of the law in 2013.


“The court cannot find that the state’s interest in preventing non-citizens from voting in Kansas outweighs the risk of disenfranchising thousands of qualified voters,” she wrote.

Of the 16,775 people on a late-April suspense list obtained by Reuters, more than half were ages 17 through 21, and more than 60 percent were age 25 or under. They were clustered in the high-population areas of Wichita, Topeka and the Kansas City suburbs, and the college towns of Lawrence and Manhattan.

About 41 percent were unaffiliated, more than the approximately 30 percent of registered Kansas voters who are unaffiliated. About 35 percent of those on the list were Democrats, compared to 24 percent of registered voters. Twenty-three percent were Republicans, compared to 45 percent of registered voters, according to a Reuters analysis of the data.

Younger voters, who are more likely to register as unaffiliated or Democrats, have a harder time getting the documents needed and have less patience with what has become an unwieldy process, said Michael Smith, a professor at Emporia State University who has studied the Kansas suspense list.

Kobach said it was “natural” that young people were heavily represented on the suspense list because they are the majority of new registrants. He rejected criticism that a proof of citizenship requirement created a higher barrier for registrants.

“If you define a barrier to voting as just having to do something before you vote, every state has that barrier, virtually every state requires proof of address,” he said.

In her court ruling, Robinson said the Kansas requirement conflicted with a federal law designed to make it easier to register while getting a driver’s license. She ordered Kansas on June 14 to begin registering Stricker and other residents who had submitted voter applications through state motor vehicle offices but failed to provide proof of citizenship.

They will be able to vote in federal elections for the presidency and U.S. Congress.

But Robinson’s ruling did not end the proof of citizenship requirement for Kansans who register by mail or at locations other than motor vehicle offices, and it left even those registering while getting a driver’s license ineligible to vote for state and local offices.

For now, that has created a chaotic two-tier system where some Kansans can vote in state elections and some cannot, some need to provide proof of citizenship and others do not, and many county election officials are uncertain how to proceed.

“It’s a complete mess,” said Marge Ahrens, co-president of the nonpartisan Kansas League of Women Voters.

(Additional reporting by Grant Smith in New York; Editing by Jason Szep and Ross Colvin)

New Law in Philippines to protect children after disasters

A boy wades through a flooded street in Jaen, Nueva Ecija in northern Philippines October 20, 2015, after the province was hit by Typhoon Koppu.

By Alisa Tang

BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Child rights groups welcomed a new law in the Philippines requiring special emergency plans to protect children after disasters and said the legislation, the first of its kind in Asia, should send a message to other countries to follow suit.

President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday signed the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act into law, mandating the government to draw up plans to ensure the welfare of children affected by natural disasters, accidents and other unforeseen events.

“We know for a fact that the children are at risk in these kinds of situations because they are helpless,” Aquino said at the signing ceremony at the presidential palace in Manila.

“We hope to make a strong foundation and basis to take care of Filipino children whoever is elected into office,” the outgoing Philippine leader said in a statement posted online.

The law clarifies the responsibilities of various government sectors, ensures children’s basic needs are met, and strengthens the government’s mandate to build evacuation centers and temporary shelters with facilities for children as well as pregnant women, he said.

Save the Children described the law as an “enormous victory for children.”

“We know from experience that when disasters strike, children are always the most vulnerable,” Ned Olney, Save the Children’s country director who was present at the signing, said in a statement.

“This legislation … ensures that children have targeted humanitarian intervention, and that government services and communities are better prepared for future disasters.”

With the law signed a few days before the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit opens in Istanbul, Olney said “the Philippines is sending a strong signal to world leaders that children caught in disasters must be better protected.”

Plan International also welcomed the law and urged the government to fully implement it.

“Children often feel voiceless in times of disasters. This victory proves that they do have a voice,” Plan said.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, hit by an average of 20 typhoons a year.

(Reporting by Alisa Tang, additional reporting by Manuel Mogato in Manila, editing by Ros Russell. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, corruption and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org to see more stories)

Tennessee law to allow counselors to deny service based on beliefs

File photo of Tennessee Republican Governor Haslam listening during the National Governors Association Winter Meeting

(This version of the April 27 story, corrects paragraph 10 to read North Carolina, not South Carolina)

By Alex Dobuzinskis  Tennessee’s Republican governor on Wednesday signed a law allowing mental health counselors to refuse service to patients on “sincerely held principles,” the latest in a string of U.S. state measures criticized as discriminatory against the gay community.

Governor Bill Haslam signed the bill into law three weeks after it was approved by the legislature. It goes into effect immediately.

“The substance of this bill doesn’t address a group, issue or belief system,” Haslam said in a statement.

“Rather, it allows counselors – just as we allow other professionals like doctors and lawyers – to refer a client to another counselor when the goals or behaviors would violate a sincerely held principle.”

An earlier version of the bill had allowed counselors to refuse service to patients on religious grounds, but it was amended to remove any direct reference to religion.

The law protects therapists and counselors from legal action when they cite their personal principles in refusing service, despite a provision in the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics barring members from such denials of service.

“This measure is rooted in the dangerous misconception that religion can be used as a free pass to discriminate,” Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, said in a statement.

Weinberg called the bill one in a series of “attacks” on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community following last year’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down state bans on gay marriage.

Haslam had previously told Nashville Public Radio he was considering the effect the legislation may have on Tennessee and its citizens, as laws criticized as discriminatory against the LGBT community has drawn increased scrutiny in several states.

In North Carolina, a number of companies including PayPal Holdings and Deutsche Bank have canceled plans to add jobs in the state after it passed a law requiring people to use bathrooms or locker rooms in schools and other public facilities that match the gender on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity.

Haslam said he decided to sign the counseling bill in part because it forbids denial of service to patients in danger of harming themselves or others.

Earlier this month, Haslam disappointed some Christians in the state when he vetoed legislation that would have made the Bible Tennessee’s official book. The governor said that violated the U.S. Constitution.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Alan Crosby)

Court Upholds Texas Abortion Regulations

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas law H.B. 2 is constitutional because the law’s intent is increasing the safety for women who are seeking to end their child’s life via abortion.

“The State truly intends that women only receive an abortion in facilities that can provide the highest quality of care and safety—the stated legitimate purpose of H.B. 2,” the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans wrote. “Plaintiffs bore the burden of proving that H.B. 2 was enacted with an improper purpose. …  They failed to proffer competent evidence contradicting the legislature’s statement of a legitimate purpose for H.B. 2.”

The ruling means that abortion clinics in the state must meet the same standards as a surgical center and that doctors at any abortion clinic must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the decision was a “victory for life and women’s health.”

“H.B. 2 both protects the unborn and ensures Texas women are not subjected to unsafe and unhealthy conditions,” Mr. Paxton said in a statement. “Today’s decision by the Fifth Circuit validates that the people of Texas have authority to establish safe, common-sense standards of care necessary to ensure the health of women.”

Abortion providers and women’s rights groups will try to appeal the decision.

California Senate Approved Assisted Death Legislation

The California State Senate has passed a bill that will allow some elderly and disabled residents to seek assistance in killing themselves with an overdose of drugs.

The senate passed the bill 23-14 despite passionate opposition speaking out for the sanctity of life.

The bill was driven by legislators using the story of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old California woman who moved to Oregon so she could establish residency and qualify to be given drugs to kill herself.  Maynard promoted her death online for weeks before she ended her life.

Maynard’s family was in the Senate chamber and spoke to reporters on behalf of the legislators who supported the measure.

Critics were intense in their opposition.  Leaders with the Catholic Church said that “assisted suicide is against the will of God.”

Senator Jeff Stone, who opposes the measure, said that the state could become a haven for “death tourism.”

“What’s going to be the new theme of the state of California?” Stone asked. “Come play, live and die in California?”

The bill is modeled on Oregon’s law.